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Guest Post and Giveaway: Creating the Main Character by Shelly Brimley, Author of Take Me to the Willow

Monday, May 16, 2016

Today, I'm hosting a promo on debut author Shelly Brimley's historical fiction, Take Me to the Willow, as a part of the ongoing VBT. Also find an excerpt for your enjoyment. Note that Take Me to the Willow is now on sale at .99c. The sale will last 'till May 22, 2016 so hurry up and grab your copy today!!

One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card
Creating the Main Character

Tolstoy said, “All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love”. This is Will. Character development for Will was a bit different than it was for the other characters in the book because it was written in his voice and from his perspective. I had to become very familiar with his point of view, and the word that best describes Will is “connected”. He was one who thrived on his connections to other people. He was invested in them and their interests and feelings. He wanted to share of himself with them as well. It was important to me that I convey the significance of Will’s relationships to the people in his life.

I think one of the things I really like about my main character is that I realized at some point along the way while writing the book, that there are some characters who can authentically remain good. I think that there is a tendency to want to show one’s breaking point, like it makes them more relatable or even exciting. But sometimes the thing that is most inspiring about a person is his/her ability to remain steadfast in the face of hardship. It’s inspiring to see someone so grounded in goodness that they don’t blow over in the breeze of affliction. That is Will. Reading about a character who’s hit rock bottom or done something very out of character and then fights to get back to who he/she is works really well, but there is something to be said for the abiding goodness and morality of a main character as well.
Take Me to the Willow
Shelly Brimley
Published: January 29, 2016

In defending his life-long friendship with Charlie, Will may have inadvertently had a hand in the growing chaos that leads to the horrifying night when his familiar world is shattered.

When Will Wright, the eighteen year old son of a small-town Arkansas sheep herder in 1905, begins reading his mother’s journal, he is inspired by its startling content to start putting his own experiences to paper for posterity. An unsophisticated but principled young man, Will is becoming increasingly aware of the hatred that exists in the world. When he begins his own journal, Will can’t know what events are to take place in the next five years – from his mother’s battle with a life threatening illness, to his embarrassments of learning how to be in love for the first time, to witnessing Charlie’s fate at the hands of the bigoted townspeople.

While part of him wishes the pain in those pages didn’t exist, he knows that the original purpose for keeping the journal has been realized - to show his kin how he became the man he is. He will probably never go back through and read again the pages he’s written, but someday, someone will, and they will see that along with the hurt, Will’s life had been one that knew true joy, absolute love, and undying friendship.

Buy Link: 
An Excerpt from Take Me to the Willow:

"Men and women are different," Will, he said.

"I know that," I said.

"Now don’t interrupt me, son!," he said, his voice rather abrupt and a bit on the nervous side. "Just let me say what I got to say."

"Sorry, I said," feelin’ startled.

Daddy scratched the back of his head and started again.

"Men and women are different," he said.

We’ve already covered that, I thought to myself but didn’t dare share that with him.

"And when they come together as husband and wife for the first time, it’s real important for the man to be sensitive to the woman so she feels comfortable… because the woman might feel uncomfortable if the man ain’t sensitive," he said.

I just sat and listened, not sure where he was goin’ with it. He didn’t seem to be goin’ anywhere except around in circles. All I could seem to grasp was that I’m supposed to be sensitive — about what… I had no clue. And Hannah is gonna end up feelin’ comfortable or uncomfortable – I’m not sure which. And speakin’ of bein’ uncomfortable, Daddy looked like a lone rabbit in a coyote’s den. I don’t believe he looked at me the whole time he was talkin’, just fidgeted and looked at the ground.

"You understand?" he asked.

I couldn’t bring myself to tell him I had no idea what in tarnation he was talkin’ about. So I just nodded instead.

"Uh huh," I said.

"Good," said Daddy as he put his hat back on and stood up to leave.

"Thank you, sir," I said. "This was real helpful."

Daddy stood there for a minute, not sure what to do next. He nervously shifted his weight from one foot to the other, and at one point, I thought he might shake my hand, but then he just said, “Alright then”, and went back in the house.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author:

Shelly Brimley was born in Flagstaff, AZ, where she lived most of her life until moving to Mexico to study abroad. After graduation, Shelly did some volunteer work in Africa and completed her graduate degree while working in an adolescent drug treatment center.

After acquiring her Master’s degree, she worked as a counselor at a residential shelter for children who had been smuggled and trafficked into the USA from different countries around the world. She also taught English to adult refugees before resigning to raise her children. Shelly wanted to use her experience working with others as a source of inspiration in her writing, offering a voice for those who are not typically heard or considered.

Author Links:
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(Note: I received this guest post+promo+giveaway info from Goddess Fish Promotions. ~Punya)


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Unknown said...

Sounds like a great read, thank you for sharing!

Unknown said...

Thank you for hosting me today!

Edge Of Insanity said...

This book looked so good, I added it to my "To Read" list on GoodReads about a week ago! I'm really excited to read it.

Anonymous said...

Good luck with the release!


Unknown said...

Thank you, Angela! I'd love to hear if you enjoy it! What genres do you like reading?

Unknown said...

Thanks again, Trix!

Victoria Alexander said...

Really great post, I enjoyed reading it. Thanks for sharing :)

Unknown said...

Thanks, Victoria!

MomJane said...

This story sounds absolutely wonderful.

Unknown said...

I appreciate that, MomJane! I hope you get a chance to read it!

Rita Wray said...

Thank you for the excerpt, I enjoyed it.

Unknown said...

Thanks, Rita!

Mary Preston said...

It's rare to find a character that is truly good. I love it.

Unknown said...

I agree, Mary. Thanks for your comment! I think the book would resonate with you.

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for hosting!

Nikolina said...

Happy to be a part of this tour, thank you for sharing!

Punya said...

Hi Shelly, it was my pleasure to host you! x

Everyone, thanks for stopping by and commenting. All the best. :)

LauraJJ said...

Oh sounds like such a great read. I cannot wait to read and find out what all happens with Will. I love the idea of the book being written in his voice and perspective.

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